Walk along the street and catch a whiff of your favourite flower in the breeze, twist open the cap of your holiday sun lotion or capture your mother’s perfume on a passer-by and instantly the mind is transported to a place, a person, a moment…
Our sense of smell is one of the most powerful senses we possess, and the merest hint of something familiar can trigger a special memory, taking us back to a particular time much quicker than any of our other senses can.
The reasons for this is all down to the olfactory bulb. Located at the back of our nose, our olfactory bulb by-passes the conscious brain and sends messages, via the limbic system, directly to the part of the brain responsible for producing and releasing all our sensory experiences, including memories – the hypothalamus gland. It’s really very simple, and very clever.
September 2017 marks the fifth global World Alzheimer’s Month™, an international campaign to raise awareness and challenge stigma. Smell can be a powerful memory stimulant for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, which typically erode short term memory functions before it affects the ability to recall events from one’s distant past, which makes smell a useful means of triggering those memories still intact.
Several clinical trials have shown that the use of aromatherapy and certain essential oils can have a positive impact on those suffering from symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s, including significant improvement in personal orientation and helping ease symptoms such as anxiety and depression.
MEMORY BOOSTING ESSENTIAL OILS
If you have a friend or family member with Alzheimer’s or dementia, Tisserand Aromatherapy 100% natural pure essential oils may help unlock the rich and emotional memories associated with smells, bringing comfort and improved quality of life. Try these top three memory-boosting essential oils…
- Lavender essential oil Lavandula angustoflia – helps to reduce anxiety and promote sleep and relaxation. Add 5 drops of Lavender to 10ml blending oil and swirl into a warm bath.
- Lemon essential oil Citrus limonum – has been shown to have a calming effect and help improve memory. Add 5 drops of Lemon to 10ml blending oil and massage into shoulders, upper chest or hands.*
- Rosemary essential oil Rosmarinus officinalis – is an uplifting oil used to stimulate the mind and body. A recent study suggested the smell of Rosemary essential oil enhanced memory. Add 6 drops to an Aroma Spa Diffuser and let the powerful aroma fill a room.
*Lemon essential oil is phototoxic so should be avoided in skincare applications if it’s going to be exposed to sunlight.